Cazenovia It was a sunny, 80-degree day in Cazenovia last Saturday, June 28, as the Cazenovia High School Class of 2014 celebrated its commencement on the green outside the Cazenovia Middle School. Hundreds of white folding chairs were packed with family, friends, teachers and district staff as the 132 candidates for graduation, dressed in their blue and white robes, each holding a yellow rose, received their awards, scholarships, general accolades and, of course, their high school diplomas.
“Graduation ceremonies are always special, and have different meanings,” said Superintendent Bob Dubik, who himself was presiding over his final commencement has head of the district before his June 30 retirement. “To the Class of 2014, you have continued the excellence in education this community has been accustomed to … face you future challenges with courage, determination and an open mind. You have achieved much, but the best is yet to come.”
CHS Principal Eric Schnabl, who also was presiding over his final commencement, congratulated and lauded the graduates for their hard work and achievements, including their receipt of more than $1.5 million in scholarship opportunities and the completion of more than 11,350 hours of community service.
“Be proud and continue to set high goals [and] never give up on your dreams,” said Schnabl, who ended his tenure in Cazenovia on June 30 in order to become the superintendent of the Sherburne-Earlville Central School District. “There will always be a little blue and gold in all of us.”
The High School Brass Ensemble played the “Pomp and Circumstance” processional and senior Orresta Paddock sang the National Anthem. Class valedictorian Kevin Hopsicker offered the class greeting, after which he and class salutatorian Emma Dudley received medals for their respective achievements of being the academic leaders of their class.
After the presentation of 88 awards and scholarships, the Cazenovia High School Chamber Choir performed the song, “It’s Time.”
CHS alum Erin Craig, class of 1999, gave the commencement address during which she challenged the graduates to step out of their comfort zones, collaborate with others, ask deeper questions and recognize the importance of being a good leader.
“You are at a key moment in your phase of self-discovery,” she said. “True success is so much more than titles and salary … So in the spirit of St. Ignatius: Go forth and set the world on fire.”
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.